User Manual

How to Change TXT Encoding

In some cases, you may need to change the encoding on a file to another encoding to work with it or enable others to read it correctly. This article offers straightforward instruction on which character encoding to use for your content and how to apply it – using the GoodReader app.



Before plain text files could be shown correctly, you have to select the correct Text Encoding first. It can be done in the Settings menu of an opened TXT file.



Historical Note. When computers only started to develop and disk space was very valuable, text files were encoded using only one byte per character, offering only 256 unique character codes. However, different national alphabets for different languages contain many more characters than that. So people started developing different Text Encodings, which are mappings of 256 possible byte codes to particular characters in a particular alphabet. Plus, different platforms (Mac, DOS, Windows) used different mapping schemes. It all resulted in a vast variety of text encodings (like MacRoman, DOSLatin1, WindowsGreek, WindowsCyrillic, and many many others). Later, the Unicode standard appeared. Unicode uses two or more bytes per single character, offering a universal scheme that includes most of the characters of most of the world`s languages. And to make things even more fun, Unicode has different schemes for storing characters in a physical file (UTF8, UTF16BE, UTF16LE). So if you open your TXT-file and see unrecognizable characters, you should probably choose the correct Text Encoding.



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As a first year PhD student I remember struggling through annotation of scanned documents and organization of the multitude of readings I was given during undergrad. Now, as a graduate student, I would literally drown in lost hours and pages of rhetorical criticisms if I didn`t have GoodReader. I`m still finding all sorts of little gems in this app that make my life easier, but after using it for over a month it is already filled with documents that won`t need to be printed because they are hosted on the cloud! I can mark up scanned and text recognition PDFs, splice documents apart, even grade my students speeches on my iPad with the markup tools!

Thank you GoodReader!

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